The provisions of this section are intended to maintain or increase the current degree of public safety, health and general welfare in existing buildings classified as Group R Occupancies.
In accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 111143.2, the provisions of Sections 1113.2 through 1113.12 shall only apply to multiple-story structures existing on January 1, 1975, let for human habitation, including, and limited to, apartment houses, hotels, and motels wherein rooms used for sleeping are let above the ground floor.
Every apartment and every other sleeping room shall have access to not less than two exits when the occupant load is 10 or more (exits need not be directly from the apartment or sleeping room). A fire escape as specified herein may be used as one required exit.
Subject to approval of the authority having jurisdiction, a ladder device as specified herein may be used in lieu of a fire escape when the construction feature or the location of the building on the property cause the installation of a fire escape to be impractical.
All stairs shall have a minimum run of 9 inches (229 mm) and a maximum rise of 8 inches (203 mm) and a minimum width exclusive of handrails of 30 inches (762 mm). Every stairway shall have at least one handrail. A landing having a minimum horizontal dimension of 30 inches (762 mm) shall be provided at each point of access to the stairway.
Every interior stairway shall be enclosed with walls of not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction. Where existing partitions form part of a stairwell enclosure, wood lath and plaster in good condition will be acceptable in lieu of one-hour fire-resistive construction. Doors to such enclosures shall be protected by a self-closing door equivalent to a solid wood door with a thickness of not less than 13/4 inches (44.5 mm).
Enclosures shall include all landings between flights and any corridors, passageways or public rooms necessary for continuous exit to the exterior of the buildings. The stairway need not be enclosed in a continuous shaft if cut off at each story by the fire-resistive construction required by this subsection for stairwell enclosures. Enclosures shall not be required if an automatic sprinkler system is provided for all portions of the building except bedrooms, apartments and rooms accessory thereto. Interior stairs and vertical openings need not be enclosed in two-story buildings.
Exterior stairways shall be noncombustible or of wood of not less than 2-inch (51 mm) nominal thickness with solid treads and risers.
Fire escapes may be used as one means of egress if the pitch does not exceed 60 degrees, the width is not less than 18 inches (457 mm), the treads are not less than 4 inches (102 mm) wide, and they extend to the ground or are provided with counterbalanced stairs reaching to the ground. Access shall be by an opening having a minimum dimension of 29 inches (737 mm) when open. The sill shall not be more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor and landing.
A ladder device, when used in lieu of a fire escape, shall conform to Section 1113.6.1 and the following:
- Serves an occupant load of nine people or less or a single dwelling unit or hotel room.
- The building does not exceed three stories in height.
- The access is adjacent to an opening as specified for emergency egress or rescue or from a balcony.
- The device does not pass in front of any building opening below the unit being served.
- The availability of activating the ladder device is accessible only to the opening or balcony served.
- The device as installed will not cause a person using it to be within 12 feet (3658 mm) of exposed energized high-voltage conductors.
This standard for exit ladder devices is applicable where such devices are permitted by the building official for installation on existing apartment houses and hotels in conformance with the California Building Code.
Installation shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Instructions shall be illustrated and shall include directions and information adequate for attaining proper and safe installation of the product. Where exit ladder devices are intended for mounting on different support surfaces, specific installation instructions shall be provided for each surface.
All load-bearing surfaces and supporting hardware shall be of noncombustible materials. Exit ladder devices shall have a minimum width of 12 inches (305 mm) when in the position intended for use. The design load shall not be less than 400 pounds (1780N) for 16-foot (4877 mm) length and 600 pounds (2699N) for 25-foot (7620 mm) length.
Exit ladder devices shall be capable of withstanding an applied load of four times the design load when installed in the manner intended for use. Test loads shall be applied for a period of one hour.
Exit ladder devices of the retractable type shall, in addition to the static load requirements of Section 4126.96.36.199.1 of the California Building Code, be capable of withstanding the following tests:
- Rung strength
- Rung-to-side-rail shear strength
- Release mechanism
- Low temperature
Rungs of retractable exit ladder devices shall be capable of withstanding a load of 1,000 pounds (4448N) when applied to a 31/2-inch-wide (89 mm) block resting at the center of the rung. The test load shall be applied for a period of one hour. The ladder shall remain operational following this test.
Rungs of retractable exit ladder devices shall be capable of withstanding 1,000 (4448N) when applied to a 31/2-inch-wide (89 mm) block resting on the center rung as near the side rail as possible. The test load shall be applied for a period of one hour. Upon removal of the test load the fasteners attaching the rung to the side rail shall show no evidence of failure. The ladder shall remain operational following the test.
The release mechanism of retractable exit ladder devices shall operate with an average applied force of not more than 5 pounds (22.2N) for hand-operated releasing mechanisms and an average applied force of not more than 25 pounds (111N) for foot-pedal types of releasing mechanisms. For these tests, a force gauge shall be applied to the release mechanism, and the average of three consecutive readings shall be computed.
Representative samples of the exit ladder devices shall be subjected to a temperature of -40°C in an environmental chamber for a period of 24 hours. The release mechanism shall be operated immediately upon removal from the chamber. The ladder device shall function as intended without any restriction of operation.
Exit doors and openings shall meet the requirements of Sections 1008.1.2, 1008.8.1.8, 1008.1.9 and 708.6 of the California Building Code. Doors shall not reduce the required width of stairway more than 6 inches (152 mm) when open. Transoms and openings other than doors from corridors to rooms shall be fixed closed and shall be covered with a minimum of 3/4-inch (19 mm) plywood or 1/2-inch (13 mm) gypsum wallboard or equivalent material.
Every exit doorway or change of direction of a corridor shall be marked with a well-lighted exit sign having letters at least 5 inches (127 mm) high.
Occupancy separations shall be provided as specified in Section 508 of the California Building Code. Lobbies and public dining rooms, not including cocktail lounges, shall not require a separation if the kitchen is so separated from the dining room. Every room containing a boiler or central heating plant shall be separated from the rest of the building by not less than a one-hour fire-resistive occupancy separation.
Exception: A separation shall not be required for such rooms with equipment serving only one dwelling unit.
In lieu of the separation of occupancies required by Section 1113.10, equivalent protection may be permitted when approved by the enforcement agency.
Exception: The provisions of Sections 1113.3 through 1113.11 above shall not apply to any existing apartment house, hotel or motel having floors (as measured from the top of the floor surface) used for human occupancy located more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) above the lowest floor level having building access which is subject to the provisions of Section 1114 and the California Existing Building Code, relating to existing high-rise buildings.
Note: In accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 17920.7, the provisions of Sections 1113.3 through 1113.11 above shall apply only to multiple-story structures existing on January 1, 1975, let for human habitation including, and limited to, apartments, houses, hotels and motels wherein rooms used for sleeping are let above the ground floor.
Every apartment house three or more stories in height or containing more than 15 apartments, every hotel three or more stories in height or containing 20 or more guest rooms, shall have installed therein an automatic or manually operated fire alarm system. Such fire alarm systems shall be so designed that all occupants of the building may be warned simultaneously and shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code. See Section 1114.14 for special requirements in buildings over 75 feet (22 860 mm) in height.
Exception: A fire alarm system need not be installed provided such apartment house or hotel is separated by an unpierced wall of not less than four-hour fire resistance in buildings of Type IA, Type IIB, Type III or Type IV construction and two-hour fire resistance in buildings of all other types of construction provided:
- Areas do not exceed the number of apartments or guest rooms stipulated.
- The fire-resistive wall conforms to the requirements of Section 706.6 of the California Building Code.
- The wall complies with all other applicable provisions of the California Building Code.
- The wall extends to all outer edges of horizontal projecting elements, such as balconies, roof overhangs, canopies, marquees or architectural projections.
- No openings are permitted for air ducts or similar penetrations, except that openings for pipes, conduits and electrical outlets of copper, sheet steel or ferrous material shall be permitted through such wall and need not be protected, provided they do not unduly impair the required fire resistance of the assembly.
- Tolerances around such penetrations shall be filled with approved noncombustible materials.
The installation of all fire alarm equipment shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code.
Regardless of other provisions of these regulations relating to existing high-rise buildings, requirements relative to existing Group R-1 or Group R-2 Occupancies shall not be less restrictive than those established pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13143.2.
Openings in corridor walls and ceilings shall be protected by not less than 13/4-inch (44.5 mm) solid-bonded wood-core doors, 1/4-inch-thick (6 mm) wired glass conforming to Section 715.1 of the California Building Code, by approved fire dampers or by equivalent protection in lieu of any of these items. Transoms shall be fixed closed with material having a fire-resistive rating equal to 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) Type X gypsum wallboard or equivalent material installed on both sides of the opening.
Every apartment house and every hotel shall have installed therein an automatic or manually operated fire alarm system. Such fire alarm systems shall be so designed that all occupants of the building may be warned simultaneously.
The installation of all fire alarm equipment shall be in accordance with the California Fire Code.
Automatic fire-extinguishing systems installed in any structure subject to these regulations shall have an approved flow indicator electrically interconnected to the required fire alarm system.